Assistant Golf Professional, Beacon Hill Country Club
Title: Assistant Golf Professional, Beacon Hill Country Club, Highlands, New Jersey.
Years as a PGA Professional: 3 years as an associate in the PGA PGM Program.
Top achievements / honors: Fourth-place at a New Jersey PGA Section Assistant Event at Stanton Ridge Golf and Country Club in 2022.
What app is a must-have on your phone? Instagram. I use it everyday for everything from sports and news to funny posts that I send to my friends.
What books would you recommend? Anything by Bob Rotella. That man is a genius when it comes to the mental side of the game.
What podcasts would you recommend? "No Laying Up" is a podcast I listen to often. They are very knowledgeable about the current state of golf and have a great YouTube channel I would recommend to any golf fan.
Who is your favorite golfer? I would say Justin Thomas. He has so many shots in his arsenal. It's so hard to pick one, as I think a number of other golfers are my "favorite" — Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and I'll never forget Anthony Kim.
What is your most memorable round of golf? Whistling Straits in 2020. It was the first time that my father had seen me golf since I began pursuing it as a profession. Although he did not play, it was a beautiful morning on an awesome golf course that he will remember forever.
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The First Call: What made you want to pursue a career in golf?
Tim Watson: An eternal love for the game of golf. I enjoy seeing improvement in my own game, as well as the improvement of those who I teach.
TFC: What is your favorite instructional tip to share with a golfer?
TW: Rotate. Making sure that you use your entire body instead of the arms to hit the ball has been very beneficial to anyone that I have given lessons to.
TFC: What advice do you have for someone considering a career in golf?
TW: Be prepared to work hard, but you will also have fun doing it. You make many connections with members/guests who can provide you with opportunities that you don't already have. Treat everyone fairly and with respect, smiles go a long way.
TFC: What is the best advice you have received on your career path?
TW: Write everything down. When you get very busy during the warmer months, you will be told things in passing from members/guests that you will most definitely forget. PGA Professional Brian Dahmer said this was the most important thing about being a golf professional. During the summers, my Reminders app on my phone is filled up.
TFC: Is there a particular area of your job that you find most rewarding?
TW: Teaching is very rewarding. I find that when you give a beneficial swing thought to somebody and it works out, they have more fun playing golf. Teaching is difficult, as some different tactics take practice and repetition to take results, but for those who do, they always see improvement.
TFC: What is one challenge you currently see in the industry? Thoughts on how to address it?
TW: A major challenge is staffing. From all the other assistant golf professionals I talk with, their main trouble is staffing. There simply is not enough hours in the day for us to get everything done. A tactic to fix this is to promote the profession more to display the benefits that it can give you.
TFC: Do you have a preferred style or philosophy for teaching golf?
TW: My main philosophy when teaching golf is mental. As I have progressed through the years as a professional, I have realized more and more that this game is all mental. Bogey golfers fear a miss on a golf shot, while professionals focus on the positives. Of course, there are physical aspects of the golf swing that oftentimes has to be improved, however, a short term remedy to peoples' struggles are between the ears.
TFC: Where is there room for growth within the industry?
TW: I still believe that the main space for growth is accessibility. I believe that programs such as First Tee and Youth on Course are very beneficial to the overall spectrum of growing the game.
TFC: When you look at your career, in what area(s) do you believe you have evolved for the better?
TW: I believe that all facets of being a professional have improved. It takes many years of experience to feel as though you have a firm grasp on a specific operation. Tournament operations, teaching, as well as merchandising, have evolved through the years.
TFC: How does being a PGA Professional add value to your brand?
TW: It adds an extra level of confidence that gains the trust of others that you know and are qualified of what you're doing.